The Blue Max is an entertaining and extremely well-acted and beautifully filmed motion picture.Filmed in 1966, it's George Peppard in his prime. I'd rather remember him here, than as the bloated, red-faced character he played on A-Team.Handsome, ruthless, charming, and doomed. That's Peppard's character. Driven by ambition to succeed, it's clear that his future is destined for destruction. The Blue Max rates as Peppard's third greatest performance after the Carpet Baggers & Breakfast at Tiffany's .The movie however is stolen by Jermey Kemp. Kemp is outstanding <more>
as the "gentleman" ace, whose time has come and gone. The film is a romantic tale of war, love, and hero worship. It ending is a major shock; reminding one of the surprise finale in The Sand Pebbles.The Blue Max is a must-see for any George Peppard fan.
Superb film-making and nuanced characters (by jvmurray54)
This is a classic, pure and simple. As virtually everyone else has mentioned the film captures a place and time so beautifully and the power and cruelty of war and how people react in it as individuals is up there with Fuller's Big Red One and Platoon. The music is well tailored to every frame of the movie in my opinion. I disagree with those who characterize the performances of Peppard and Andress as weakor lacking a genuine tone. They are very strong and believable throughout - including the camp like nature of Andress whose aristocratic arrogance is very believable, along with the <more>
total confidence she has in her sexual power over a man until one telling scene toward the end . I do agree with others that Jeremy Kemp's performance is great, James Mason, Vogler, and the actor who plays the head administrator - all solid.Rent it, buy it - it puts you in a different time and place with ease.
I was lucky enough to see The Blue Max in the theaters when I was a kid , If they would only replay it on the big screen. From the start You can almost see the bullets hitting the seats in front of you and felt like you where actually flying those great planes and living the characters part. Not only relying on big screen effects, This movie is also one of the few films that made the transition from the large screen to television entertainment with a great story line of one man's struggle and determination against his opposition, to prove himself just as good as the aristacrats of the <more>
time in pursuit of his one goal. Peppards best .One of Mason's best.But I liked Andress better in Bond.I was surprised that in the entertainment world, The Blue Max in 1966 fell away to almost obscurity not winning any awards. Its definitely a classic. You won't be disappointed. The movie was better than the book.
I would rate this a 10, but didn't like the soundtrack enough.Since the release of "Flyboys" it seems amazing that a movie made forty years ago has a more polished, advanced, and contemporary look than one made today. This will amaze people who compare films of the twentieth century one hundred years from now."The Blue Max" has better cinematography, special effects, acting, storyline, etc. In the end its a disappointing fact that today's films have taken giant steps backwards compared to those of the '60s.The flying sequences and scenes of aerial combat in <more>
"The Blue Max" have never been surpassed or equaled. Even in "Flyboys" with millions of dollars of CGI effects no movie has ever captured the feel of flying and aerial fighting like this one. The planes all look authentic, too.The big scope of World War One does not swallow up the intense personal stories here either. This is one of the only films that explores the psyche of successful fighting men. The arrogance they need to maintain their bravery and aggression can also be their downfall. Here we also can see the politics behind the combat, both on a personal and national level. This is a very thrilling history lesson.The actors are so good, and the characters so complex I forgot they were supposed to be my supposed enemy. Peppard does a good job of acting, playing a guy who is meant to be both likable, admirable, irritating and repulsive at the same time. The only problem is he looks too American for the role. Imagine if Brando had done it, but he had a hard time choosing really good parts. My favorite is James Mason, who played German generals better than they could play themselves off-screen. If you like flying, history, or personal drama you can't miss this one.
As a kid I used to force myself to stay up half the night whenever this movie would appear on late night TV. It has never lost its ability to intrigue, and every time I see it I find new dimensions to appreciate. Beyond the spectacular aerial photography, I found the core moral dilemma the most engaging aspect of the film. While the German aristocrats see an absolute need for chivalry and honor to maintain their humanity in the face of horror and death, Stachel sees only hypocrisy and prefers the honesty of naked aggression and ambition. Ultimately, it is left up to the viewer to decide the <more>
morality of their philosophies. On the downside, I've always found it hard to accept Peppard as German, and the dry performance of Andress brings the pace to a dead halt whenever she appears on screen. Mason was brilliant as ever, though, as were Vogler and Kemp.
Twist, turns and not just with the 'planes! A forgotten classic! (by naseby)
A humble,cannon-fodder German corporal in WW1, Not Hitler , aspires to leave his mud-ridden foxhole of the infantry and fly, in the late stage of this war after looking at a fighter aircraft gracefully swooping above him. The next shot after the opening credits, he's seen in officer corps uniform Loin-nent! casually tossing a 'full bottle' of what may be whisky to a bedraggled German soldier.Bruno Stachel Peppard joins a squadron and immediately is exposed to the class-war struggles of the time, as a working class boy in an upper class world of flyers. As much as he wants to <more>
fly he's also obsessed in earning himself the Blue Max For 20 air-kills . Both his class and his recklessness/ambition in earning his 'first' kill, put him into confrontation with the squadron. Willi Von Klugermann sounding like a deliberate cross between Von Richthofen and Immelmann , the smug older head, has a kind of love-hate relationship with Stachel, especially as they're both at odds over a girl Ursula Andress as Kaeti who is also Klugermann's aunt by marriage to the older General James Mason . The latter is keen to use Stachel though, even after he's fallen out with the squadron CO Heidemann over a controversial less-than chivalrous 'kill' as his 'low class' will be used as propaganda to show the German population a 'hero of their own'.Stachel succeeds in moving up the ladder, with further kills, becoming as smug as Klugermann, getting Kaeti Much to the latter's disgust , and saving Von Richthofen's life - who subsequently offers him a place in his famous 'Flying Circus'. Stachel refuses him though to prove himself with his squadron first.There's also the obligatory 'fly-off' between the rivals Not the British and Germans - Stachel and Von Klugermann! , and the latter's killed in the fly-off, even to Stachel's gut-wrenching guilt. As two Brit 'planes were shot down before this fly-off in the area, Heidemann casually mentions that at least Willi didn't die in vain/served the Fatherland etc, to which Stachel does his nut, asking Heidemann why he thinks WILLI shot them down. Stachel shows his nastiness here and claims the 'planes, even though the armourer's report shows Stachel's guns jammed after firing only 40 rounds. 'Amazing marksmanship' says Heidemann sarcastically, emphasising to Stachel he'll get a court martial for lying and stealing Willi's laurels. The General insists, though, however thin it may seem he wants the award to go to Stachel Even forgetting Willi was his nephew! as it completes his tally for the Blue Max and elevates him to the 'working class hero' the General wants to project to counter the low morale of the German populace. As it transpires, Stachel's dalliance with Kaeti is the ruination of him - he's admitted to her he didn't get the two 'planes Willi shot down and the 'fly-off' was just that and NOT about HER! In her anger at this eventual rebuff, the General gets wind of it and doesn't want the publicity now of a 'disgraced German Officer-corps' flyer, whatever his class. Stachel is due to fly a new monoplane, at the same time as receiving his Blue Max - but the General now wants to cover up the mess - at Stachel's expense. Heidemann takes the new 'plane up and reveals it to be a 'death trap' that he was lucky to bring back down again. The General uses this to end the unfolding scandal by sending the unknowing Stachel up in the 'plane, stating to him to show the crowd some 'real flying' - knowing that'll be his end! Naturally, he's killed, after receiving his Blue Max, but the General has had everything he wants - the acceleration of a now 'posthumous' working-class war hero - who importantly dies before any scandal can be revealed! Ironic, that Stachel receives the medal he wanted, but dies as a matter of his own shallowness and in being a pawn of the establishment. This is truly an awe-inspiring film, with amazing flying sequences and vintage aircraft battling it out in the skies above France in WW1. Yes, it is talky at times, but the air action is worth seeing, as is the secondary action on the ground with the Brits and the Germans savagely 'going over the top'. There's also a very masterful score, which combines the beauty and action in the flying. The cheap DVD version I bought nonetheless had a handsome 'intermission' with a focus of the Blue Max medal itself with the score being played. A definite watch, it could be argued that it would be difficult to sit through more than once due to its longevity, but watch it the once at least if you haven't seen it yet. Who hasn't though!? Oh, and guess what - Anton Diffring's in it playing again - a German!
Forget about Top Gun as the ultimate 'fighter pilot' movie! (by philip_vanderveken)
I'm a fan of World War One-movies and I've got several of them in my private DVD collection. "The Blue Max" isn't in it yet, but if I ever find it on a DVD, I won't hesitate for one moment to buy it. I want to have it, not only because it deals with WWI in general and because it is a good movie, but also because it gives an idea of how the war in the air was fought and how these pilots acted and saw themselves...This movie tells the story of Bruno Stachel, an ordinary infantry soldier who has been turned into a fighter pilot. His colleagues aren't happy with him, <more>
not only because he isn't an aristocrat like they are, but also because he's extremely ambitious. He will do anything to win him his country's most honored medal, the Blue Max. But to win it, he'll have to shoot down 20 enemy aircrafts, which will all have to be confirmed by his comrades, without getting killed himself. And while being hated by his fellow pilots, he's seen as the people's hero and perfect propaganda material by the general and as the ideal lust object by the general's wife..."The Blue Max" shows very well how the pilots during WWI were almost always noblemen I guess the most famous one of them all was Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, better known as the Red Barron , who considered the concept of an honorable death at the hands of a "worthy" opponent still as one of the most important things during their fights. Even at the end of the war in 1918, while on the ground troops had been anonymously slaughtered by the thousands with machine guns and gas, they still considered chivalry as one of the highest goods.Next to the historically correct situation of the story, I also admire the rest of the movie. I know, if you aren't interested in WWI, than this might not be the most spectacular movie you've ever seen, but even than the movie has plenty of good and interesting things to offer. The story on itself is nice, the acting is very good and the airplanes are magnificent to watch, on the ground as well as in the air. This is one of those movies that has stood the hands of time, but that is known by only a small audience, which is really a shame. Personally I'm a big fan of this movie and that's why I reward it with an 8/10. My advice: don't call "Top Gun" the ultimate fighter pilot movie before you've seen this one.
A Terrific WWI Air War Movie With Real Planes & No CGI (by dublin9)
What a refreshing movie to watch.I saw this movie with my father in 1966. He always loved the bi-planes of World War I and they thrill me to this day.The title, though central to the theme of the movie is really a misnomer to the enjoyment of this film. You actually get to see r-e-a-l aircraft in combat without the cartoon effects of CGI.This is movie making in the school of the other Cinamascope greats: Somewhat weak on plot, but so absolutely cool in visual execution, that you overlook the script's lack of depth.I'm not saying that this movie doesn't have a plot. It's a <more>
solid story with somewhat shallow character development. But in the end, the characters were secondary to a story of bravery, early air war history and tactics and the wearing away of chivalry in an era of a nation fighting for survival in the end of hours.Acting was good, direction was fine and choreography using actual aircraft was among the last of it's kind.I give this an 8 out of 10 for displaying concrete reality in an era of cartoon gimmicks.
Ursula Andress' appearance is completely at odds with everything else around her (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
John Guillermin collects all of the conventions of the early 1930s flying adventures and adds an unmistakable mid-1960s spin to create an enjoyable but understandably uneven entertainment Many parts of the film work beautifully In fact, the flying scenes are among the best ever put on screen But whenever sex-starlet Ursula Andress shows up, the illusion of 1918 reality evaporates Her appearance is completely at odds with everything else around her She's decorous and undeniably sexy Flash forward two years The foot soldier has managed to transfer out of the Army and into the <more>
Air Corps, where he's a green, inexperienced pilot Ruthlessly ambitious, Bruno dreams of getting 20 kills For those, he'll be rewarded with a medal, the 'Blue Max,' and that will make him the equal of anyone Heidemann Karl Michael Vogler , Bruno's new squadron leader, already has a 'Blue Max,' and the veteran flier Willi von Klugermann Jeremy Kemp is closing in on his More importantly, Willi and Heidemann are members of the aristocratic "officer corps." Bruno, son of a hotel keeper, really doesn't fit in At least, he doesn't fit in until Count von Klugermann James Mason , Willi's uncle and a high-ranking officer, realizes Bruno's potential value. "If this young man lives long enough," the Count reasons, "he could be useful to our propaganda department. The common people of our country are war-weary, restive. They need to be provided with a hero of their own. Von Richthofen and Willi are of our class. Now, this fellow Stachel is common as dirt. He's one of them!"The film's central conflict signifies basically to a competition between Heidemann's old school, chivalrous knight of the air approach and Bruno's pragmatic goal to get the coveted Blue Max! The more interesting relationship, though, is between Bruno and Willi It always is in this sort of movie While Peppard has enough screen presence as a movie star to carry the lead, he's not a good enough actor to make Bruno's obsessive ambition seem fully real Jeremy Kemps slyly comic cynicism is a welcome balance, and he walks away with all of his scenes, both on the ground and in the air "The Blue Max" is more enjoyable as simple escapism than as a serious war film, but those magnificent aerial sequences are enough to recommend it to fans... Jack Hunter's novel is a much more carefully observed portrait of those times Guillermin deserves credit for historical accuracy in the hospital scenes, and civilian life in 1918 Germany, complete with horses and road apples in the City streets